United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-386 - Engineering Surveys and Services, Inc.

EA 98-386

Larry Hendren, President
Engineering Surveys and Services, Inc.
1113 Fay Street
Columbia, MO 65401

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND NRC INSPECTION REPORT 030-17948/98001(DNMS)

Dear Mr. Hendren:

This refers to the inspection of activities at Engineering Surveys and Services, Inc. (ESSI), conducted on July 7, 1998. The inspection was conducted at your facilities in Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri. The purpose of the inspection was to review an event involving damage to a moisture/density gauge at a construction site in Fulton, Missouri, and to assess the routine radiation safety program. The inspection findings are described in the enclosed report.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding it are described in detail in the subject inspection report.

The violation involves failure to secure or maintain constant surveillance of licensed material at a temporary jobsite. This failure contributed to a gauge, containing 8 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries of americium-241, being run over and severely damaged by a construction vehicle. The circumstances of the incident indicate that the operator failed to ensure that the moisture density gauge was appropriately safeguarded and not left in the path of heavy construction equipment. Incumbent upon each NRC licensee and its employees is the responsibility to protect public health and safety by ensuring that all NRC requirements are met, and in particular, that NRC licensed material is controlled so that it is not lost or damaged and does not constitute a hazard to the public. The NRC recognizes that the operator subsequently acted properly in securing the area around the damaged gauge and contacting the Radiation Safety Officer. Nonetheless, leaving licensed material unsecured and uncontrolled in an unrestricted area is of significant concern to the NRC. Therefore, the violation is categorized at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG 1600, Rev. 1.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2,750 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two inspections, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Based upon the prompt and comprehensive actions taken following the inspection, credit for Corrective Action was warranted. The corrective actions planned or taken to address the root cause included discussion meetings with engineering technicians at both ESSI offices to review safety practices on construction sites and emergency response procedures. These meetings were completed on July 14, 1998. In addition, the Radiation Safety Officer is currently modifying the training procedures to further highlight operator responsibility for personal safety, equipment safety, and constant evaluation of jobsite operations and conditions that could affect personal safety and equipment safety.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of the Severity Level III violation constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that the reasons for the violation, and the corrective actions taken and/or planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence have been adequately addressed. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description herein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

The NRC has determined that we have sufficient information to make an informed enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference. However, in accordance with the NRC Enforcement Policy, NUREG 1600, Rev. 1, you may request an enforcement conference to discuss the violations and/or any disputes regarding them. If this is your choice, please contact Geoffrey Wright at (630) 829-9602 within seven days of the date of this letter.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, the enclosed Notice, and your response, if you choose to respond, will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room.

Sincerely,

  Original Signed By

  Carl J. Paperiello
Acting Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-17948
License No. 24-20089-01

Enclosures: As stated


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
 
Engineering Surveys and Services, Inc.
Columbia, Missouri
  Docket No. 030-17948
License No. 24-20089-01
EA 98-386

During an NRC inspection conducted on July 7, 1998, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 20.1801 requires that the licensee secure from unauthorized removal or access licensed materials that are stored in unrestricted areas. 10 CFR 20.1802 requires that the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that is in an unrestricted area and that is not in storage. As defined in 10 CFR 20.1003, unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.
Contrary to the above, on June 25, 1998, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a portable moisture/density gauge containing 8 millicuries (0.3 GBq) of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries (1.48 GBq) of americium-241 located at a construction site in Fulton, Missouri, an unrestricted area, nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material.

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement IV).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons for the violation, and the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence is already adequately addressed. However, you are required to respond to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201 if the description herein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to respond, clearly mark your response as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation," and send it to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532-4351, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation.

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response, with the basis for denial, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

Under the authority of Section 182 of Act 42 U.S.C. 2232, any response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

If you choose to respond your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). Therefore, to the extent possible, it should not include any personal, privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction.

Dated at Lisle, Illinois
this 24th day of July 1998

 

 

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